#98 Donte Rumph, Defensive Tackle
Hometown: St. Matthews, S.C.
High School: Calhoun County
Height / Weight: 6’3″ / 323 lbs
Position: Defensive Tackle
BEFORE UK (Courtesy of UK ATHLETICS)
Earned first-team all-state honors, covering all classifications, by The Associated Press and the Columbia State newspaper … Also first-team all-state for Class AA by the High School Sports Report … Totaled 107 tackles during senior season, including 14 quarterback sacks, for Calhoun County HS in St. Matthews, S.C. … Chosen for the South Carolina vs. North Carolina Shrine Bowl and played for the winning squad … Made 65 tackles and five sacks during his junior season … Coached by Walter Wilson … Member of the Calhoun County basketball team which won three consecutive state championships and had a winning streak of more than 70 games … Also played three seasons of baseball … Member of the Spirit Club.
The road to Kentucky’s campus was long and hard for Rumph. He was initially signed in the 2008 recruiting class, but was forced to sit out for two consecutive years after failing to qualify academically each year. When he finally made it to campus, Rumph made an immediate impact at defensive tackle and has been one of UK’s most consistent defenders since then.
AS A WILDCAT
Rumph’s best game at UK came late last year when he was named SEC lineman of the week after Kentucky’s 34-3 win against Samford. Rumph totaled five tackles (four solos) with a sack (minus-7 yards) and caused a fumble. In the second quarter, Rumph recorded a sack and knocked out the football, which Tristian Johnson returned 25 yards for a touchdown. The Wildcats defense limited Samford to minus-2 yards rushing on 27 attempts and recorded five sacks of Bulldog quarterbacks. Samford had 102 total offensive yards for the game.
Rumph finished the 2012 season with 36 tackles, four sacks and six tackles for loss.
Kentucky was without Rumph for most of the spring practices, but the good news for the Wildcats is that he’s expected to return in time for the 2013 season. Rumph injured his shoulder in practice and had surgery.
Mark Stoops said that doctors expect Rumph to make a full recovery, and that he should be ready to go in the fall. The plan is to get him back in time for preseason camp in August
WHAT TO EXPECT
If Rumph is able to make a full recovery and not miss any fall practices, he should be due for a big senior season as he thrives under former Florida State Defensive Coordinator Mark Stoops, who has coached plenty of NFL-caliber lineman, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see NFL scouts begin to take notice of Rumph as the 2013 season progresses. Expect Rumph to get around 50 tackles, 7-10 TFLs, and 4-6 sacks this year, and be an All-SEC honorable mention.